Facebook Suspended These Libertarian Groups and Won't Explain Why

'Being Libertarian' and 'Occupy Democrats Logic' were taken down and then inexplicably restored three days later.



Being Libertarian and Occupy Democrats Logic, two popular libertarian Facebook groups, were suspended last week for reasons unknown. Facebook later restored the groups, but still isn't explaining what happened.

"We were down for three days," Charles Peralo, one of the group's administrators, told Reason. Peralo said Facebook didn't tell him what rules had been violated.

Occupy Democrats Logic was informed that one of its posts—an image pointing out an alleged double standard regarding Islam and homosexuality—had violated community standards.

BuzzFeed News contacted a Facebook spokesperson, who confirmed that the groups were taken down "in error." The spokesperson offered no further clarifications.

Facebook is a private company—a distinction I make frequently when writing about allegations of censorship, because it matters. You have the right to complain about your mistreatment at the hands of a social media giant, but you don't have the right to anything else.

That being said, Facebook—like Twitter—markets itself as a place where the speech rules are uniform. It claims that it does not discriminate against certain speech, unless the content of that speech violates its community standards. Both companies ought to be more careful that libertarians and conservatives are as welcome to express their opinions as liberals are.

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  1. “Both companies ought to be more careful that libertarians and conservatives are as welcome to express their opinions as liberals are.”

    Or they’ll complain more.

  2. Facebook is a private company?a distinction I make frequently when writing about allegations of censorship, because it matters. You have the right to complain about your mistreatment at the hands of a social media giant, but you don’t have the right to anything else.

    And as idiots here in the peanut gallery have informed you numerous times, Facebook has terms of service for its users and customers that it has violated. Meaning, no, Robby, there is recourse for some of these things that is entirely legitimate. Facebook is committing fraud.

    1. To constitute fraud, doesn’t there have to be some measurable harm? After all, Facebook is completely free to join. Isn’t it the same for various Facebook groups? If so, then if Facebook does violate its own terms of service, what harm was committed? I am really not trying to be difficult. I am just trying to understand what recourse one could have.

            1. Shut-up Tulpas!

              1. That’s a very Tulpa thing to say.

            1. The Alien!

              1. The Alienist!

                1. I have to admit that I mainly look at the comment section to read the hilarious sophomoric antics.

                  1. You and everyone else, brah,

      1. To put it another way, if I pinkie swear with my BFF that we will totally always put “bros before hos”, and then he ditches our Battlefront night to go get some with his galpal, can I sue him for fraud?

        This is about the level of severity as FB suspending a group’s page.

        1. Does Facebook, as a famous and publicly traded company, slander (defame?) a group by banning them against their stated “standards?”

          IOW, if they claim legitimate (mainstream???) conservative/libertarian opinions are “hate speech,” does it “harm” your reputation?

        2. No, because his girlfriend will surely sue him for fraud the second he drops his pants.

        3. In a just world, yes.

        4. Nonsense. It’s more like this: I offer a webpage on which you can express your views, as long as you don’t violate the ToS. You spend many hours adding content to it, then I pull the plug, even though you have not violated the ToS.

        5. Uh, people have been charged with felonies for violations of Facebook’s TOS

          1. Sorry, charged and convicted

          2. Link? Facebook recently won an appeal in a civil CFAA suit, but it included more than just a ToS violation (a cease and desist letter was issued), anyway. And the way the CFAA makes ToS violations civilly or even perhaps even criminally risky is through the argument that some ToS violations constitute “unauthorized access”; by definition, this cannot apply to the site owner.

      2. You know, accept that there are advertisers and there is money changing hands. The Facebook group pages are content providers who are paying Facebook:

        Many of those content creators pay large sums of money for advertisements and other services so that they can promote their content. If the biases against certain content creators that Gizmodo reported on are true, they may rise to the level of a breach of contract or fraud.


        So, Facebook is free to set whatever terms of service it wants. But if it sets terms and then arbitrarily breaks them with people who have a contract with them, it’s fraud. Some cases will be stronger than others.

        1. That is a very fair point. I was thinking from the standpoint of a typical FB user. But if FB groups are paying FB, then I totally agree that there could be some legal recourse there in terms of breach of contract.

          1. I’d also suggest that DerpBook may have committed a fraud against certain advertisers. The major value proposition of FaceBook is that it allows advertisers to target their ads to very specific markets that, in terms of tastes, views and opinions closely matches what the advertiser believes is its target market. If FaceBook then changes its ToS to exclude much of that market or a significant portion of that market, it has significantly diminished the value that advertisers are purchasing.

            For example, if I contracted to have them advertise my monocle business and orphan uranium miner recruiting firm to libertarians, and then FaceBook proceeded to push libertarians off, or even moved to make the site much less friendly to libertarians, I’m getting something significantly different from what I contracted for and likely worth much less.

        2. Facebook groups and pages are free, with the ability to promote posts by paying. Have you read anything to suggest that the group and page in question paid? I have not.

      3. IANAL, but I would think that the TOS are a form of contract and if Derpbook violates their TOS then they’d be in breach of contract and could find themselves in a very actionable position.

        1. I’m guessing their TOS would have the standard disclaimer…”FB retains the right to suspend service at any time for any reason.”

          If they don’t, they need better legal advice.

          1. Ah, yes. The literal “FYTW clause”.

        2. Only if the DoJ wants to go after them.

          Ask Lori Drew.

      4. If so, then if Facebook does violate its own terms of service, what harm was committed?

        They have collected value from you (user information) without returning commensurate value to you (procedures outlined in the terms of service). The harm is that they’re getting the user info without “paying” for it.

        1. “They have collected value from you (user information) without returning commensurate value to you (procedures outlined in the terms of service). ”

          I’ll suck a roll of dirty bum dicks if it says anywhere in their TOS that they have to ” return commensurate value to you” .

          I swear to God it’s like some of you don’t even know what a tos is.

          1. It’s like talking to a wanksock. Contract Law 101. In order to establish a contract (which a Terms of Service agreement needs to be in order to be enforceable), you need 3 things: offer (“sign up for Facebook!”), acceptance (“click submit to agree to the terms of service and create your account”), and consideration (“i’ll record your user data, and in exchange you get a platform to send pictures of your dinner to all your friends”).

            As a user, you “signed” the contract expecting certain things (like a procedure to determine whether your content is censorable or not), and you gave Facebook certain things in return (like ownership of the content you produce). A contract doesn’t have to include money to have valuable terms.

      5. Measurable harm and its explicitly has to be for gain – that’s pretty settled law arising from the ‘stolen valor’ numbnuts who kept getting caught because they couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to wear the damn insignia properly.

        Side rant – the shit ain’t that complicated, the instructions are online, how can you be desperate enough for the attention to do this but DGAF enough to half-ass it?

        1. Probably the same reason Battleship got the surviving chain of command right but lost me at some 25 yo CHENG. That shit doesn’t happen, pffft.

          Because no one but us cares or is going to notice, so why the fuck not, right?

      6. That’s right! Free Speech < Gay Wedding Cake! As far as progressives are concerned. Facebook/Twitter are free to do as they choose. Everyone else is free to beat them over the head with their hypocrisy.

    2. “that it has violated”

      Has it?

      As to terms and conditions? take it to court. See how far you get. Then be upset you got nowhere.

  3. If only Facebook made cakes, then its users could bring it to heel.

    1. Yarp. I really find it hard to separate one business that won’t provide service to an un-favored group from another one that… won’t provide service to an un-favored group.

      1. Oh, well – that’s easy. See, ‘Top Men’ have decided which are the protected classes and which are not.

  4. It cannot be repeated enough: “Mark Zuckerberg is Fidel Castro in flip-flops.”

  5. oh fuck that “private company” crap, FB and Twitter want to be considered a public utility, so let’s hold them to the same standards as one

    1. Public accommodation is only fun when they do it

      1. There once was a mister named Lizard,
        With flies he loved to fill up his gizzard,
        He’d warm his cold gut,
        With hot coals up his butt,
        A homeotherm to him was a wizard.

        1. There’s something wrong with the scansion.

    2. I’m not sure that FB and Twitter want to be public utilities. But, I have some advice if they do. Be careful what you wish for.

    3. I am holding my breath waiting to see what happens now that the entire internet is a public utility.

    4. “FB and Twitter”, then, had better be baking me a gay-NAZI-dead-puppy-raper cake when I offer to buy one, dammit!!!!

  6. It’s entirely possible that this was a legitimate error. How many people do they have screening the jillions of complaints from people who flag anything the disagree with as spam/hate speech?

    1. It’s a legitimate error that repeatedly occurs and only hits people on one side of the political spectrum. There are no similar leftwing pages hit with these suspensions and constant issues. None that I am aware of.

      Maybe the progressive hordes are more likely to troll and report shit randomly, but I doubt that is the only explanation. I mean, we have Facebook’s CEO on video telling Merkel he will crackdown on wrongthink of a certain type. There’s way too much effort to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

      1. Maybe the progressive hordes are more likely to troll and report shit randomly, but I doubt that is the only explanation.

        The second you walk into FB headquarters, you know it’s not the only explanation. It’s a fucking SJW wet dream at FB, and the idea that it doesn’t bleed out into their censorship division is laughable.

      2. According to the Pew Centers for Social Networking (yes, that’s a fucking thing) Liberals and Progressives are far more likely to ‘unfriend’ someone with disparate political views than their conservative counterparts. I like to think of this as Facebook “unfriending” entire accounts with disparate political views.

        1. Doesn’t surprise me. Progressives are pretty cult-like in their thinking. It’s no different then when someone leaves the Jehovah Witnesses, the other members shun them

      3. I think the reason for this Brochetta, is that there are liberal assholes who go around and report “offensive behavior” to try to silence any dissension.

        I’m sure many of them even get paid to do things like this.

    2. So sorry, I am gonna hafta report yer hate crime now… Conform NOW, dammit!!!!

  7. I was an early joiner of Ratbook – late 2007 I think.

    Ended up zapping my account in 2010 as we had a private page where we showcased European erotica comix and some Stasi fuck intentionally joined our page and then tattled to the computards claiming he/she was offended and we lost our page.

    Got out before the wave of horrid relatives and the company bigwigs got on it.

    1. we had a private page where we showcased European erotica comix

      Go on…

      1. Heavy on Serpieri’s ass-comix.

        Nobody said anything of our Suehiro Maruo’ s ero-guro manga page though.

      2. “European” is conservative/libertarian code for “gay”.

          1. He’s the Kwisatz Haderach?

          2. Not clicking on that link, Hugh, just not gonna do it.

  8. Like I said in another thread. FaceBook is not the asshole of the Internet. FaceBook is the giant stinking turd of the Internet. Apparently they are also cowardly progressives as well.

    1. Cowardly PARTISAN progressive douches.

        1. Dude this is Reason. You can fucking cuss if you want to.

  9. Because FYTW?

  10. If Reason were to ever go to a ‘join Facebook in order to comment’ format it would be the end of me.

    And I would write a very stern letter to Welch. Or someone.

    1. It is well known here in Texas that the sternly-worded letter is the most aggression any Canadian is capable of, so we don’t judge you.

      1. You haven’t watched us play hockey have you?

        1. Yes, it’s amazing how much better you get when you put on the uniform of a U.S. Team.

          1. TEAM CANADA BRA.

        2. Yeah, but then you all say sorry and help each other up.

        3. I’m not in to women’s sports.

      1. What? You don’t like the upvotes?

        1. But no downvotes anymore. That’s bullying.

      2. I like Disqus. But I miss the downvotes.

        I never use any Facebook comments. I have an account, and a limited number of friends, but even there I try to steer clear of anything too controversial.

  11. Scenarios:

    A) Facebook deviously targets two libertarian pages I’d never heard of, to suspend them for a while, to … ineffectually not scare them or something.

    B) Offended idiots report their content and the random drone who sees them barely looks at them before clicking the “suspend” button because they’re bad at actually doing their job, then Facebook says “yeah, they did that wrong”.

    I’m picking B – because they also seem to suspend progressives for boring admin posts or Sandernistas because their bots are stupid, and Kneejerk idiot Lefitsts are sure they’re being targeted too.

    (I’m sure FB overall has a moderate-left slant at the high level.

    But I also think they care a whole lot more about pageviews and clicks and ad revenue than Banning Someone’s Stupid Political Meme Spew.)

    1. Shorter Sigvald


  12. The offending post at Occupy Democrat Logic pointed out that Democrats think “Christians are hateful bigots!” because Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong but Democrats think “Muslims are awesome” despite the latter thinking that homosexuality is wrong.

    From what I can tell, Facebook probably took this post down because it says that “Christians are hateful bigots!”. In other words, they were ham-handedly sticking up for Christians–and one of the problems with censoring text is that there is no sarcasm font.

    The irony is, of course, that Facebook is being criticized for being biased–because they were sticking up for Christians. Maybe they should stay the fuck out of censoring opinion and stick to censoring violent threats, libel, etc.

    1. P.S. Anybody that doesn’t censor violent threats and libel in the wake of Preet Bahara and Gawker is a fucking idiot.

      1. Look, I have the right to come on here and say [name omitted] has [act omitted] with [type of animal omitted] on a regular basis.

        1. Look, I have the right to come on here and say Francisco d’Anconia has gone to the movies with frogs on a regular basis.

          Oh, I say, this *is* fun.

          1. NOT TRUE!

            I don’t even like French people.

          2. So no one has ever tried to get you into Mad Libs before, huh?

            1. I only read Playboy for the cartoons.

        2. type of animal omitted


      2. Anybody who *does* is the idiot. Currently there is no obligation to censor either and doing so then puts you on the spot if at any point you *don’t*.

        (by no obligation, I mean a person is not bound by a judgment from a litigation in which he is not designated as a party)

        1. Going to court to defend yourself is expensive.

          Avoiding going to court to defend yourself by taking down potentially libelous comments or violent threats down isn’t idiotic at all.

          You don’t have a legal obligation to allow people to put signs in your front yard making violent threats or saying libelous things about other people either. Still, if you happen to find some signs like that in your front yard anyway, taking them down to avoid expensive headaches isn’t idiotic.

          It just isn’t.

    2. Something tells me it wasn’t because they said “Christians are hateful bigots!”, but because they dared to criticize Democrats and Muslims through the backdoor.

      1. That seems unlikely, but even if that were the case, we’d do well to find an example.

        . . . one that isn’t so easily explained away as an attempt to protect Christians from having their religion bashed on Facebook.

        When most people look at a post that says “Christians are hateful bigots”, and Facebook has said they’re going to take comments down that bash people’s religions, a significant number of people who wonder why the comment was taken down will probably identify the general statement smearing Christians as the likely culprit.

      2. “That seems unlikely, but even if that were the case, we’d do well to find [a better] example.”


  13. I did a huge cleanout of the junk in my FB account recently, mainly to get rid of the politics. I wanted to have my account primarily to talk with the handful of relatives who only communicate with me through FB. Of course, less than 2 weeks later, I had a family member come out of the woodwork to call me sexist for sharing a video with my wife.

    I’m seriously debating reaching out to those handful of family members and telling them how to reach me after I delete my FB account.

    1. “…I had a family member come out of the woodwork to call me sexist for sharing a video with my wife.”

      Huh? What is the story behind that?

      1. Yeah, spill.

        1. I just want to see the video.

          I really enjoy things that offend other people.

      2. There’s a video circulating that shows a guy talking with his wife. The wife is complaining about having to always do some chore, and he consoles her by telling her about some magical devices in the house. For example, the laundry basket is magical because he leaves his dirty clothes in it at night and they appear on his bed nice and folded the next day. Similarly, his coffee table is magic, too. He leaves pizza boxes and beer cans behind and they magically vanish the next morning.

        See here for the vid.

        Anyway, I shared it with my wife because it’s funny and hits a little close to home. Well, my cousin is high school age, and is definitely on the SJW bandwagon… hard. She had no chance. Her dad is a commie and he’s probably the least messed up of her immediate family. She decided to comment on the sexism of that video due to the characters’ traditional gender roles. I decided to try to inject some more humor in by playfully calling her transphobic for assuming the chick identifies as a chick and the dude identifies as a dude. Of course, as is common with SJWs, she left her sense of humor in her other pants today, and responded in a huff.

        Long story short, I told her that my Facebook posts aren’t going to be a platform for her SJW shit, and that she is more than welcome to unfollow or unfriend me the next time she has the urge to talk social justice with me.

        1. Ha! Thanks.

  14. Jewett Williams update

    “Everything went well until [Adria O.] Horn [director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services] revealed that rather than Jewett being buried with the other Civil War veterans at Togus [VA Hospital in Chelsea] as planned, “family and descendants” in Aroostook County wanted him to be buried “with his parents, Jared and Rosaline Williams,” in the family’s plot in a Hodgdon cemetery….

    “Horn’s announcement visibly stunned many listening Patriot Guard Riders, who had believed since Aug. 1 that, as Bob LaBrie of Bangor explained, “He (Jewett Williams) was going to be buried with the 20th Maine boys here at Togus….

    “From the conversations taking place among the Patriot Guard Riders after the ceremony, one fact became clear: the state’s decision to let Jewett be buried elsewhere than Togus had left the Riders feeling hoodwinked.

    “Their feelings are possibly justified; a Facebook post put up last Friday by a Hodgdon resident indicated that people in that town already knew that Jewett would be buried there.

    “Why state officials chose not to share that information with the volunteers transporting Jewett to Maine *at their personal expense* remains a mystery.” [emphasis in original]

  15. Will we believe what happens next? And when will we find out which 17 actors are gay but refuse to say?

    1. I get the joke, but really, is there really such a thing nowadays as a gay actor who refuses to say if he’s gay?

      1. Yes. A gay actor could be reluctant to publicly “out” themselves if they believe that being gay could negatively affect their ability to score action or leading man roles.

        1. I guess you’re right. Jason Statham had trouble finding work after he came out.

          (note to Jason Statham’s lawyers: That was a *joke*)

          1. Also Elvis impersonators.

        2. Rock Hudson always comes to mind when this subject comes up.

          And Carey Grant.

          I challenge anyone to come up with ten straight male actors. I can come up with a few but I am probably wrong about half of them.

          1. Ronald Reagan, Gary Busy, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vin Diesel, Tom Arnold, Will Smith, OJ Simpson, Bill Murray, and George Takai.

        3. I think Tom Hardy has admitted to experimenting. Which is all I need – I’ll be in my bunk.

      2. That pompous prick Jared Leto insists on being coy about it for whatever reason.

  16. And yet I’d bet good money that “Being Muslim” and actual Occupy Wall Street were never close to being suspended.

  17. They’re probably funded by Peter Thiel.

  18. I can only assume Robby is OK with this.

      1. even unpopular minorities.”

        Black people. Duh.

        1. Libertarians are definitely lamer than black people.

          Who are our representative celebrities? Ok, Kurt Russell (*I still call him ‘Snake’) is pretty boss, but i mean…. a formerly-fat Magician, and a few cartoonists? And the last decent band we had was Devo (AFTER RUSH BETRAYED US, YOU BASTARDS) Accept it = we’re the short-bus of politics.


            OK, I’ll bite–what did they do/not do?

            1. Turns out they were Canadians.

              1. Hmm, true dat, MB. Snow-backs, the lot of ’em.

                Also, your video is quite entertaining.

            2. While being Canadian is enough to earn them the hatred of any self-respecting libertarian, they renounced their libertarianism pretty openly. At least Neil Peart did. He is now a progressive because he believes in helping people.

              1. Well, I, for one, am not paying for his fucking drum kit maintenance.

              2. At least we don’t arrest or throw people in prison for letting their kids walk alone, have nutty booze laws or shakedown people with asset forfeiture.


                /cues The Band.

                1. You over in Frenchlandia may not have nutty booze laws*. Out here in Lotusland, booze is only sold in Govt. liquor stores. There are a few private wine stores I’ve seen, and there was a new law passed recently to allow more private liquor stores. In the areas that government determines are underserved by govt. liquor stores, on taxi medallion principles (there are X licences to go around, have fun).

                  Oh yeah, there was some buzz about grocery stores being allowed to sell beer but they would be under same limitation as above (is your area underserved?)

                  *it is my firm belief that to a Quebecoise booze is what guns are to proverbial West Virginia redneck, and I will not let facts get in they way

                  1. Oh dear, we have the same sucky state-backed laws. The SAQ had commercials back in the day saying, ‘it’s a pleasure to choose for you.’ It was all so very ‘fuck off’.

                    I meant the culture looks on alcohol with much less Protestant puritanism you see, well, on the rest of the continent. I get carded more in the States than I ever did here.

                2. The Band became Official Americans via the Levon Helm proviso – you can’t play songs about the Civil War without first registering as Americans.

                  Sorry you had to hear it this way.

                  (*In what may be an ironic twist = levon helm himself lost his southerner-status via membership in a band of mostly-canadians, so, it was sort of a complex thing. they all ended up de-facto yankees)

                  1. MAJORITY WINS. 4 members were Canadian led by Robbie Robertson. Plus they backed Ronnie Hawkins – another hoser – up.

                    And Scorsese had the good sense to put up the Canadian flag in The Last Waltz.

                    In all seriousness, great band. Helms was a soul-drenched drummer.

                    1. D’oh! I read your last sentence. I was speed reading.

                      Whatever. It’s a North American original.

                      /high five!

  19. Well if anyone is really bored I drunkenly watched The Young Turks again.


    1. There’s not enough vodka in all of Ukraine to make me watch those guys.

    2. Sorry, man, you tried but stupid was too much for me.

      Don’t be discouraged, not even Sargon of Akkad can make Cenk palatable. As a defensive mechanism, his derp is remarkably effective.

  20. I’m still surprised no one has created a p2p social network on top of bittorrent or whatever. Even if only nerds used it, it’s not like nerds don’t share baby pictures too.

  21. Sorry – sockpuppet malfunction. Should be working now….

    1. I hope you die in a fire.

    2. By the way, how’s that rock and roll book coming along, fuckface? I can’t believe the publisher is still paying your dumb ass. I have to give it to you, it’s a good scam though!

  22. Fuck Facebook. Fuck them in their dirty butt hole.

  23. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    ………….. http://YoutubeJobs.Nypost55.com

  24. Free Speech is only for favored groups and individuals.

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